The Commercial-News, Danville, IL

March 14, 2013

Man sentenced in 3 deaths

BY BRIAN L. HUCHEL
Commercial-News

URBANA — In December, Mac Leverenz made a prediction about the future of the suspect convicted in the 2007 triple homicide that took the life of his daughter, 19-year-old Madisen Leverenz.

“He’ll never get out,” Leverenz said of 34-year-old Freddell Bryant.

On Thursday, a federal judge in Urbana brought that prediction to fruition.

Bryant, already serving 25 years in federal prison, was sentenced Thursday by U.S. District Judge Michael McCuskey to three consecutive life sentences for his role in the March 25, 2007, triple homicide in Danville. It was the maximum sentence Bryant could receive in the case.

The sentence comes a little more than three months after a jury needed only three hours of deliberation before finding Bryant guilty in the murders. Bryant, following Thursday’s hearing, will begin serving the three consecutive life sentences immediately.

The federal grand jury indictment leveled against Bryant in summer 2011 alleged the murders were as a result of accusations about missing drugs belonging to Bryant. In the ensuing shooting, 21-year-old TaBreyon McCullough, 19-year-old Leverenz and 30-year-old Rodney Pepper were killed at 1707 E. Main St.

According to evidence presented in the trial, Bryant used McCullough on March 24, 2007, to hold kilogram amounts of cocaine at her residence in Danville. Bryant learned at some point later that day that multiple kilograms of the cocaine had been taken from McCullough’s residence.

The next day, according to the evidence, Bryant took McCullough to an apartment at 1707 E. Main St. to confront Pepper and Leverenz, whom he believed were involved in taking the drugs from McCullough’s home. The charges contend Bryant brought a gun to the home and used it to shoot the three victims.

Police called to the scene in the 1700 block of East Main Street on March 25, 2007, found Pepper shot and bleeding in the middle of the street. A large front window was broken on the house where Pepper had thrown himself through. Inside the home, the bodies of McCullough and Leverenz were found.

At his December jury trial, federal prosecutors presented primary evidence including a 2010 taped statement to law enforcement in which Bryant admitted to involvement the triple homicide. He contended in the taped statement that he did not enter the home with the intent of killing anyone inside. Bryant already was serving 25 years in prison after pleading guilty in 2009 to crack cocaine charges.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.